Previous Ambassador for Arctic Affairs becomes Friend of the Year

Press release from Umeå University

Björn Lyrvall has been appointed Umeå University Friend of the Year. He is awarded the title in his role as the Ambassador for Arctic Affairs through which he often emphasised Umeå University’s research in various political contexts and has opened up for new collaborations for the university’s Arctic researchers. Björn Lyrvall is first out to receive this special appointment, which should be given to someone who has done something extraordinary together with the university in the university spirit.

Björn Lyrvall, Umeå University Friend of the Year and Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson. Photo: Camilla Bergvall

“It is incredibly honouring to receive this fine award – it truly makes me proud to be appointed the first Umeå University Friend of the Year,” says Björn Lyrvall, current Director-General of the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment. However, until the end of 2019, he was Ambassador for Arctic Affairs and Senior Arctic Official for Sweden in the Arctic Council.

Björn Lyrval has primarily been in contact with the university through Arcum and the Arctic Five, but he also mentions successful collaborations before and during the big international conference EU Arctic Forum, held at Umeå University in autumn 2019.

“Umeå University is definitely an Arctic university. And the collaboration has been rather intense over these incredibly important Arctic issues,” he says.

The award statement reads: “As Swedish Ambassador for Arctic Affairs and Senior Arctic Offical in the Arctic Council, Björn Lyrvall has shown a great interest in Umeå University’s Arctic research and has emphasised it in various political contexts both in Sweden and abroad. He has opened new doors to our researchers and in a significant way promoted Umeå University’s position in the Arctic research field. Hence, we are very proud to have a good Friend in Björn.”

“Appointing Björn Lyrvall as the first Friend of Umeå University is natural. In his role as the Swedish ambassador, he has helped to place Umeå on the Arctic map, and he has been of great importance to the university’s Arctic research and its great impact, both internationally as nationally,” says Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson.

Björn Lyrvall also hopes that the university will continue to contribute to a sustainable development in the Arctic.

“We still have a lot to learn about this region, and Umeå University has an important role to play with its wide-spanning research. But it also takes large investments and dedicated research programmes with a multidisciplinary approach to produce new knowledge about how future climate change affects animals, nature, people and communities in the area.”


Film: Simon Öhman Jönsson. Interview: Camilla Bergvall

The Umeå University Friend of the Year Award
The award has been instituted by Umeå University to promote collaborations between the university and external parties, and to highlight the Umeå University spirit. The award goes to an external party who has done something good together with Umeå University and has strived for openness and cross-border collaboration. The collaboration must have contributed to the general good as we believe in the power of excelling together. The nomination period is open between 1 October and 31 October the year before the award announcement is made. 2020 is the first time the award is distributed.

Date of publication: 3 Feb 2020

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